Tēnā koutou i runga i ngā ahuatanga o te wā (greetings to you all at this time)
The re-emergence of COVID-19 creates uncertainty for all oral health professions. Across Aotearoa with the alert level settings and particularly Auckland region at Alert 4 many of you are working incredibly hard to ensure essential health services continue to be provided. This has been, and continues to be, a difficult and challenging time for all oral health providers.
We want to thank you for the important contribution you are making in the community, and the care you are providing to the public of Aotearoa. This week the government has indicated that Auckland will hopefully move to Alert Level 3 in the near future.
At the Dental Council we are aware of the population needs for general oral health care, the considerable back log of patients who will require treatment, and the exacerbation of inequities with restrictions on treatment being delivered. It is for these reasons we are working closely with the oral health team and Infection Prevention Control specialists at the Ministry of Health to try and open oral healthcare safely were possible at Alert Level 3. We are aiming to allow safe care with appropriate PPE and fallow time for AGPs.
As before we will be unable to finalise our guidelines until after Cabinet meets on Monday. We will aim to provide detailed guidelines to you all as soon as practically possible.
Practitioners have an ongoing obligation to ensure oral health services continue to be delivered safely to the public, and to minimise any risks to yourself and your staff. We again thank you for supporting your patients over alert levels and reducing COVID-19 impact in Aotearoa.
Kia noho haumaru koutou katoa (stay safe everyone)
Andrew Gray (Chair) & Marie Warner (CE)